The oil bust wreaking havoc on North Dakota’s economy also threatens to drain cash flow from $125 million of commercial mortgage backed securities, according to Morningstar Credit Ratings.
The price for West Texas Intermediate crude oil, the U.S. benchmark, recently has been trading below $40 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, a far cry from June 2014, when prices peaked above $100 a barrel.
One measure of just how much the slump has impacted North Dakota's economy is on the taxable sales and purchases over the last quarter. Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger said Wednesday that taxable sales and purchases were $5.7 billion for July, August and September; 25 percent lower than figures reported in the third quarter of 2014 (when oil prices began to drop) and the lowest since 2011.
The impact on the commercial real estate sector has been just as drastic as companies that moved to the area during the boom look to downsize their work force.
Morningstar said that 2013 and 2014 vintage CMBS, the most exposed to the drop in oil prices, could see losses of about $16 million. Many of the properties backing loans in those deals were built to house employees at the Bakken and Three Forks oil fields, areas in North Dakota; these properties saw populations (and rents) swell to around 29,000 as of July 2014 from 16,000 in 2010 according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Four of the largest loans in the 2013 and 2014 vintage deal are currently in special servicing.
One loan secured by the Strata Estate Suites, a multifamily property in the Williston area, reported an updated appraisal in November that is 65% below its appraisal at issuance, according to Morningstar. The loan initially went delinquent in December 2013, just five months after the mortgage was sold to investors in COMM 2013-CR10.
“At issuance, lease rates were between $4,000 and $5,000 per month for furnished units,” the report states.